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Discussion Starter #1
My car will be out of the bodyshop very soon with a nice new coat of paint on it. I'm just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on driving a freshly painted car in the elements - mainly rain. Should I store the car in my garage for a day or two for the paint to cure better? Also, when is the best time to wash and wax it?

I found this on Meguire's website and actually asked the question to them too, and am currently waiting for their professional response.

"A new car with a factory paint job can be waxed the moment it is rolled out of the manufacturing plant. Cars that have factory paint jobs are cured at much higher temperatures, sometimes as high as 300 degrees in special baking ovens. At a factory level, the car goes through the painting and baking process without any of the rubber, plastic, and cloth components installed. This is why they can expose the car and it's fresh paint to such high temperatures. These high temperatures and special paints used at the factory level insures the paint is fully cured by the time the car is completely assembled.

"After-market paint finishes however, are cured at a much lower temperature to ensure the method of baking or heating the paint doesn't melt non-metal components such as wiring and vinyl. For this reason, it's best to follow the specific paint manufactures recommendations for care and maintenance of fresh paint. Most paint manufactures that supply paint to the refinish industry recommend that you allow anywhere from 30 to 90 days curing time after the paint is applied before you apply the first application of wax.

"To maintain your cars fresh paint during the recommended curing time you can safely use any of the below Meguiar's pure polishes, which are not only safe for fresh paint but help to enhance the curing process while making your paint look it's absolute best.

And they list their products after that.

So - thoughts, comments - go ahead.....I don't wanna ruin my freshly painted car.
 

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Most paints take at least 30 days to cure. The longer you wait the safer it will be.
 

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I'd recommend at least 60 days before the first wax. Bodyshop will prob. tell you 90, however. Listen to them, especially if there's a warrenty on your paint.
 

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You did not mention what type of paint was being used. Typical enamels are usually 30 days, laquers are a little longer as they are a softer paint. If the paint is a good quality then you shouldn't need to wax it for at least 90 days, which is what I would wait anyways. Can't wait to see pics, I take it you had the body kit installed?
 

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I paint cars a lot and my recommendation for a full cure even with eurethane enamels is 90 days. The paint on top cures first, but what is closer to the metal takes much longer to cure properly. Enamels dry and cure slower than lacquers do.

Usually, the repaint is up to 5 full coats of material including base and clear. If you add primer, add 3-4 more coats; even that has to cure to hold up well.
 

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Once my Mustang gets painted, it will sit for at LEAST 3 months in the garage so no bird poo gets on it. :D

When they fixed my XD, they said 90 days before waxing. ;)
 

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XTRAWLD said:
Thanks for all the info - but no one mentioned about driving it in the rain.
i've heard that rain is not a problem for freshly paint, unless it is particularly acidic or polluted.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just got a response back from Meguires

"You can drive the freshly painted vehicle in the rain. However, you will want to remove all standing water and any fresh contaminants as soon as possible. You can clean the surface safely with either the Quik Detailer or Final Inspection.

"Apply the Show Car Glaze to your vehicle as often as needed. It is completely safe for a newly painted vehicle."

Removing standing water is what will be the problem - you think using a regular chamois would be ok??
 

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I would not use the chamois if you are just removing the water, if you have dirt on the car and you remove the water you could scratch the paint with the dirt. But using the chamois after you wash it would be okay.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Hmmm, how would I get the water off I wonder - a cotton rag to pick up the water? a squeegee? a blow dryer? tip the car on it's side?

As far as I know the car will be ready for pickup on Saturday - Saturday looks like it is going to rain so I want to be prepared. I will make every effort to pick it up when it's nice and dry though, but I have a feeling it won't be avoided. It will be going immediately into my garage to sit until Monday morning for the rest of the goodies to be installed. (The drive from the shop to my house is like 10-15 mins). So if it does rain, I will have to remove all the standing water on Sat. I'm also concerned about driving it, because it's not completely cured and little rocks and debris will be hitting the front of the car....sigh, all of this is making me think twice about showing and getting this kit in the first place - too many headaches.

If that Show Car Glaze will help protect it, I'll be using it all the time. I'm just looking for a place nearby that sells it because I would need it for Sat.

faraco3 - I really don't think you can even wash the car during the period, let alone wax it from what I've been reading. The paint has to cure properly and the longer you leave it, the better. The Glaze that Meguiars mentioned to me would be the wash/wax in one that you could use.

The newest update.

I called up a place where I can purchase the products to help protect the car during the curing phase and learned some interesting information.

As long as you have a very good clear coat on the car or a good hardener, (which I will have) you shouldn't worry too much about driving it everyday in the elements. That said, you shouldn't really drive the car the same day you pick it up right out of the shop, but the next day it should be fine. The hardener will protect it from stone chips and the like.

Standing water should be removed from the car. Detailing products can be used to help get the water and any contaminants off the surface. The gentleman also stated that 30 days to let the paint cure is an "industry standard" but people have waxed the car in as little as 7 days of curing to no ill effects. Basically, the longer you leave it, the better.

The reason why you don't want to wax the car right out of the shop is because the chemical solvents in the paint are trying to "calm down." By applying wax you are actually holding all of the chemical solvents in reducing it's chance to breath and set properly. Thus resulting in paint chips and so forth.

Pretty cool. I feel more relieved now!
 
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